Birthdays, Burgers and Strikers


Woke to hearing my wife say ‘Happy birthday.’ Made me smile until I remembered how horribly I treated her the day before, having gotten angry over something trivia; the removal and exchange of a blind from one bedroom to the next.

I can be a very thoughtless man at times.

Sadly, no birthday cards in the mail for me. I believe that time, the time of the personal touch that a card makes, is passed. Such is water under a bridge.

Not only is today my birthday, it is also the 25-year anniversary of my father’s passing. He had a stroke and was brain dead within minutes of the event.

My wife has been and remains busy. She got up at 0500 hours, took her usual walk, returned home, had breakfast, showered, re-dressed and is gone to the grocery store.

Got up less than ten minutes ago and have only gotten as far as a kitchen chair as I wait for the coffee to finish brewing. She set it up for me, so all I need do is toss the switch. Come on, Mr. Coffee!

Made the mistake of taking my cellphone to bed with me last night. I couldn’t sleep, so instead listened to a few podcasts, which somehow add themselves to my already strange battery of dreams and make for some cockeyed visions.

How it is that my subconscious mind can concoct a scenario whereas I am naked, running through a light drizzle, locked inside a cemetery and awaiting rescue by Robert Stack only to have Minnie Pearl find me, is beyond my ability to understand. I cannot think of one thing in this dream that isn’t somehow frightening – especially a pudgy, pale thing like me, nekked.

It is smoky once again this morning. It is from the Hog and Badger Fires, burning in Siskiyou and Lassen Counties, California with the smoke being blown in during the morning hours and clearing by noon or so.

My son jus’ called to wish me a happy birthday. My day is complete. He and his wife are on their way to Lake Tahoe, with her childhood girlfriend and the girlfriend’s two daughters.

All of the new locks are on, along with door handles and such. Still have some hinges to put on. Not looking forward to those damn spring hinges. Never seem to get them set properly and have to adjust them over-and-over till they are.

We also went to lunch at Red Robin. Had a free birthday burger. Got the Royal Robin, some fries and a Guinness.

“Living large in the land of the free and the home of the brave,” as my old friend Max Volume says.

While there, one of wait-staff and I were clowning around after I misheard what he asked. I thought he asked for a drink of my beer I said yes, trying to hand it to him.

“No, no, no,” he said, “I want you to take a sip of your beer and tell me if it tastes right.”

I did and it did.

“I had one the other night and it tasted like soy sauce to me,” he explained.

“Nope,” I said, “Tastes like beer to me.”

Told him how I misunderstood him and we laughed about the fact that I was willing to give him a drink. That’s the way I am, shirt off my back if need be.

After he left, another of the wait-staff, a woman came over and in hushed tones asked, “Did he take a drink of your beer?”

“No!” I said, “We were jus’ kidding around.”

Now we know who the brown-noser of the outfit is now. I pulled our male waiter aside and warned him that he needs watch out for her.

“She’s looking to make her stripes by being a tattle-tale, and she’s got you in her target,” I said.

Offering me a fist-bump, he let me know he appreciated this. Told you I could be an effing a-hole!

Had to go to Home Depot after lunch for some bondo and a door stopper. Would have gotten two strikers for the doors, but they’re are out of stock. Even with the air on in the building, my glasses remained fogged up and I was sucking hot wind back in from my face mask.

As we were walking up to the front doors, my wife asked, “Remember the good old days when there was a line?”

I answered, “I remember the good old days when we didn’t have to wear these fucking masks.”

Since all I could see of her face by this time were here eyes and eyebrows, I could tell she was serious when she told me not to ‘talk like that.’

“Or what, you’ll wash my mouth out with hand sanitizer?” I thought, but didn’t say.

Then I saw the bottles of sanitizer they had on a table in front of the door for the convenience of their customers. It was a close one.

As is my wife’s nature, she searched around until she found the strikers that she wanted. That means I had to drive back into town to pick them up. I think her drive to finish some projects is more of an overdrive and I end up looking like I’m utterly lazy because I don’t have that same drive.

But this is my problem as this is how I see me and not how she sees me.

Here’s one of the big differences between she and me: she wants activity, me wants adventure. It’s also one of the reasons that she doesn’t enjoy shopping with me.

I tend to find it.

Got to the store, stood in line to pick up the strikers and discovered the guy behind the customer service counter, like me could not hear or understand what I was saying to him, or visa-versa. Then we got to laughing so hard that neither one of us could speak and as we were each wearing glass, we began to steaming up our peepers. This made everything even more funny.

Finally, sides aching, I had to pull down my mask. He did the same.

“I swear the more I have to wear a mask, that harder it is for me to hear,” I said.

“Like turning down the radio in your car helps you read addresses better,” he returned.

Then we got to laughing again and both had to be reminded my the other service tech to pull our masks back up or risk his getting written up and me getting ‘86’d.’

And as I get ready to close out my day, I have plans to do some painting tomorrow. I did go to Walmart and buy a couple of inexpensive canvasses. What I’ll paint, I have no idea. And that’s exactly how I like it.

3 thoughts on “Birthdays, Burgers and Strikers”

  1. I hope you had a good birthday, Tom, and enjoyed the burger and beer. We have an alcohol ban here, so its lucky I am forward thinking. “I think her drive to finish some projects is more of an overdrive and I end up looking like I’m utterly lazy because I don’t have that same drive.” This is a great sentence. I’ll let my husband know he’s in great company next time he looks at me strangely at the end of the weekend when I’ve cleaned the house, baked a special cake, tutored my son, written 5 000 words and written three blog posts. Hehehe.

    Liked by 2 people

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